Monday, May 18, 2009

Legislative Count Down

For robust cities and downtowns, to sustainably grow our state and local economies, and to protect critical natural resources, we must make comprehensive changes to the state’s development policies and investment priorities. Those changes must include: 1. reducing our reliance on the property tax; 2. improving regional cooperation; 3. modernizing local zoning codes; and 4. investing strategically and in the long-term best interests of the people and the state.

The 2009 session of the Connecticut General Assembly ends June 3rd. A Smart Growth Working Group of legislators and stakeholders labored mightily this past year to create a comprehensive legislative package.

The following is an update on the progress of the smart growth agenda date. Below, please see the status of bills in the smart growth package and those that were not introduced as part of the official package but would shift our growth patterns toward smart, sustainable development.

The list includes bill status and an impact rating. (Positive\high impact means 1000 Friends of Connecticut supports the legislation and it will result in a meaningful change to where and how we develop as a state.

Contact your State Representative and State Senator and ask them to support positive\high impact and positive\moderate impact bills. We also ask you to contact legislators to intervene to fix the bad bill.

Senate Democrats: 860/240-8600 Senate Republicans: 860/240-8800
House Democratic Leadership: 860/240-8500 House Democratic Rank & File: 860/240-8585
House Republican Leadership: 860/240-8700 House Republican Rank & File: 860/340-8787

HB6585 An Act Concerning Regionalism Positive/High Impact Allows a portion of the sales tax to be shared on a regional basis so long as the towns within regions meet prescribed criteria, including adopting a regional comprehensive economic development strategy and working together to gain efficiencies. House Calendar 309
HB6561 An Act Concerning State Support for Regional Initiatives Positive/High Impact
Provides $50 million from the sales tax to municipalities that cooperate regionally to meet prescribed criteria. House Calendar 600
HB6467 An Act Concerning Smart Growth and Plans of Conservation and Development Negative/Potential High Impact
Defines “smart growth” and establishes smart growth principles, gives OPM extra time to complete the next iteration of the state land use plan, authorizes the Legislative Continuing Committee on the Plan of Conservation and Development to review state planning, and REQUIRES THE STATE PLAN TO CONFORM TO 169 LOCAL PLANS. Passed House, Senate Calendar 621

HB6097 An Act Concerning Brownfields Development Positive/Moderate Impact
Allows brownfield remediation and redevelopment of historic mills in flood plains so long as the new development is within the existing footprint, establishes a timeframe for remediation, and provides some liability relief. House Calendar

SB1033 An Act Establishing a Tax credit for Green Buildings Positive/Moderate Impact
Would provide a tax credit for LEED Certified buildings on transit oriented sites. LCO

SB271 An Act Concerning Floodplain Management and Mill Properties Positive/Moderate Impact
Allows for mill property reuse in floodplain so long as new development occurs within old mill activity and all critical activity is above the 500-year-floodplain. Passed Senate, House Calendar 624

HB5267 An Act Concerning the Use of Small Town Economic Assistance Program Funds to Convert Prime Farmland to Nonagricultural Use Positive/Moderate Impact
Would prohibit the use of STEAP grants on prime farmland. House Calendar 318

HB6464 An Act Concerning Coordinated Preservation and Development Positive/Moderate Impact
Would require certain state investments be screened for compliance with smart growth. House Calendar 916
SB384 An Act Promoting Regionalism Positive/Low Impact
Creates a grant program for any two cooperating towns. Passed Senate on consent. House Calendar 625
SB735 An Act Improving Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Positive/Low Impact
Would require a reasonable sum, but not less than one percent, of all transportation projects be devoted to bike and pedestrian amenities. Senate Calendar 970
HB6387 An Act Concerning The Small Town Economic Assistance Program
House Calendar 242 Positive/Low Impact
SB384 An Act Promoting Regionalism Passed Senate House Calendar 625 Positive/Low Impact
HB6588 An Act Concerning Training for Local Land Use Commissioners Passed House, Senate Calendar 623, Positive/Low Impact
HB6463 An Act Concerning Membership on Regional Planning Agencies Passed House, Senate Calendar Positive/Low Impact
HB6466 An Act Concerning Projects of Regional Significance Passed House, Senate Calendar
Neutral/Low Impact
SB379 Pilot Land Value Tax Senate Calendar 228 Neutral/Low Impact
HB6589 An Act Concerning Land Use Appeals Passed House, Senate Calendar Neutral/Low Impact
HB6595 An Act Concerning the State Conservation and Development Policies Plan
House Calendar 382 Neutral/Low Impact
HB5254 An Act Extending Certain Permits Passed House, Senate Calendar Neutral/Low Impact

Find your legislators on the Web at Click on House or Senate then leadership or members. Or, call us 860/523-0003. We’ll help you track them down.

Taking a furlough day? Contact us if you’d like to volunteer. info at 1000friends-ct dot org

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